Lavonte David weathered the storm through eight seasons without a playoff berth

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
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Lavonte David has played his entire nine-year career with the Buccaneers. Until this year, he had never been to the playoffs.

David, a linebacker selected by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft, said it was tough going through all those disappointing seasons, but it was worth it to get where he is now.

“There’s been some tough times here,” David said. “I was able to weather the storm. [I’ve] seen all the good, seen all the bad, now I’m here, taking all this in right now. I was telling the young guys, ‘Don’t take this for granted.’ Guys who are in their second year, guys who are in their first year, telling them, ‘Don’t take it for granted because this doesn’t happen often.’ Once you have this foundation, you have to keep on trying to stack on it because it’s not easy to get to this position. Look at myself, for example. It took me nine years to get here. I don’t know if it’s going to take me another nine or whatever, but you definitely have to embrace this moment.”

Tom Brady aside, this is a moment that does not come along very often for most players. David knows it was a long journey to get here.